Some days take you by surprise.
As training for the marathon ramps up, and the impact on my legs bites hard with the higher workload, I’m discovering that not every day is a “feel good” kind of day.
On Friday morning I hit the road with my brother for an early morning bike ride. A bit of cross training is helpful and bike riding is my cross-training weapon of choice.
We went for a not-too-hilly route of around 30km with time limiting our options (and that time was limited even further when it took us 15 minutes for us to decide that yes, we could indeed ride in the rain!).
It was our first ride together for a while and I was excited to get out and about…but that quickly turned to frustration as I discovered a pair of legs that just wouldn’t do what they normally can. An average speed nearly 15% lower than normal on a fairly short ride told the story.
It seems to me, that can be just as true in other aspects of our lives as well. Some days things just don’t go according to plan.
We head out the door feeling fine only to run into a day that just doesn’t work. Words don’t flow, jobs don’t turn out right, the kids are even more off-the-wall than normal.
Some days are hard.
The next morning I had a longish run scheduled, but definitely didn’t feel like going running. It was early, cold and dark and that memory of dead-leg day was fresh in my mind. I lay in bed for quite a while in the pre-dawn, arguing with myself.
I knew I’d beat myself up all day if I didn’t go, so dragged myself off the pillow and staggered off down the street.
It didn’t start much better than the day before, but over the first km or two, things loosened up and I started to find my rhythm again.
By the end of the run I was cruising, enjoying the crisp early morning air, saying g’day to the other early morning runners and cyclists, and thoroughly enjoying myself. I can’t put a finger on what had changed, but the difference was stark. I even had enough energy for a little hard push at the 15k mark to see what speed I had in the legs.
Some days are great.
It got me to thinking that sometimes, even as we get moving in the morning and head out the door, we can’t know what the day holds. The key for me, I think, is to breath deeply, lean into God, and stagger forth into the day, determined to deal with whatever comes my way.
Training this week:
Riding: 28km @ 23.2km/h, 362m climbed
Running: 18.1km @ 5.34 p/km, 105m climbed (a shorter “long run” after 4 weeks of 20k+)
Running: 8.0km @ 5.16 p/km, 77m climbed
Riding: 39.5km @ 27.5km/h, 257m climbed
Running: 10.1km @ 5.22 p/km, 88m climbed
The Week Ahead:
Aiming for 22-24k long run this Saturday, normal mid-week 8-10k runs, and hopefully a 40-50k ride Monday. End of next week I’m in Cairns for work for a couple of days so might pack the shoes for some tropical warmth!
Looking forward to cheering from the sidelines as Sheri, Riley and a whole bunch of friends and family members run and walk the Mother’s Day Classic this Sunday.
This week I’ve been thinking about food. What to eat before I run, what to carry with me (in the form of energy gels) to avoid going into shutdown due to lack of energy. I’m going to start using the same brand that the Gold Coast Marathon provide…just to make sure they taste ok (well, as ok as energy gels can taste).
Body is in good shape. No trouble with feet, shins, or the eternally dodgy left knee. So, so tired…but otherwise good. The only real training questions are whether (a) my training plan has enough mileage in it; and (b) I can keep the feet and legs in good shape.